State revises proposed bullet train routes, but San Fernando Valley communities remain skeptical

The California rail authority has proposed major bullet-train route changes that would put more of it underground as it crosses the San Fernando Valley, avoiding some of the impacts of aboveground routes that have drawn strong protests.

High-Speed Rail Authority Chairman Dan Richard said Thursday the state is committed to mitigating the effects on low-income communities as a matter of "environmental justice."

After a public meeting held by the San Fernando Valley Council of Governments, it was clear that the new plan would continue to receive resistance from the communities, even though it would avoid bisecting neighborhoods in several cases.

"The fight is not over," Georgina Carranza, a Valley resident who has been active in the matter, told the council. "We are standing with our neighbors in Shadow Hills and Sun Valley."The difficult passage from Burbank to Palmdale involves the geologically complex San Gabriel Mountains, where aquifers, faults and shattered rock formations will increase the difficulty of tunneling.

The number of possible routes is down to three in the new plan.

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